While Ryan Strome didn’t have quite the junior career that New York Islanders captain John Tavares had, he managed to find some impressive success. However, now it’s his time to make the jump into the NHL and despite the fact he got some time with the Islanders last season, there is no guarantee that he’ll crack the team out of camp this year.
The New York Islanders took Ryan Strome 5th overall in the 2011 NHL draft, in what many called a draft without a real star. There was no clear-cut number one and while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went first overall, he has not been the best from that draft class by any means.
Strome was labelled with big expectations after playing big roles with Team Canada on the international stage and lighting it up for 106 points with Niagara IceDogs.
However, since Strome was drafted by the Islanders he has fallen off the map and become somewhat forgotten. Between time spent in the OHL with the IceDogs, the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers putting up respectable numbers and Representing Canada twice at the World Juniors, Strome finally earned his first stint of NHL time last season when he was called up to the Islanders mid-season.
Among fans and scouts, Ryan Strome is still regarded as one of the Islanders top prospects, he just needs to earn his time. The Islanders invited the 21 year-old to his 3rd prospect camp and he looked out-of-place against the prospects making a first appearance. He’s almost ready, but the Islanders want to make sure he earns his ice-time and with their latest additions and other prospects that shouldn’t be a problem.
Strome had two separate stints with the Islanders last season, one of which he faded into the back and played it safe, the other he rose to the occasion while the Islanders season fell out of reach. He found himself playing centre and showing the organization that he doesn’t need top end talent to succeed, but with Frans Nielsen and Mikhail Grabovski now Islanders, there might not be room for Strome.
In his 37 games with the Islanders last season he put up just 18 points, scoring just 7 goals. There arguments that what he brought to the team went beyond the score sheet, but your top young prospect needs to be scoring goals; plain and simple. Strome wasn’t able to produce last season when given the opportunity and it may land the 21 year-old back in the AHL to start next season.
He’s got the talent and is highly touted but the Islanders don’t seem to be in any rush to get the kid into the NHL full-time. Whether they don’t like what they’ve seen, don’t have room up the middle or need more from Ryan Strome, it appears his NHL time is still a little ways away. There is little doubt that he can and will be a very good NHL player when the time comes, but for now he doesn’t seem to fit into the organization.